Everyone knows about the legend of Sasquatch: a tall, hairy ape-man that roams the forests of the Pacific Northwest. But what most people are familiar with is only one type of Bigfoot. Whether they are a separate species, subspecies, or just a different variety, there are others. Almost every culture in the world has one legend or another of an elusive ape-man that can never be captured but is sighted occasionally, deep into the wilderness. These are the eight most common.
Sasquatch, a name that is almost interchangeable with Bigfoot, is actually a more specific term for the North American variety. Sasquatches have been around for as long as humans, according to Native American legends, and are thought to have crossed the Bering Strait along with people and other animals. They were generally considered to be a spirit of the forest, but they were also reportedly spotted on rare occasions as a physical creature.
Wendigo is a Native American Legend about a spirit that manifests itself in the form of large animals, often as a Sasquatch. It is said to have an insatiable hunger to devour mankind, and true to the legend, whenever it is reported to show up, unexpected and violent deaths follow. Some say it is a vengeful spirit, while others claim to have encountered an interdimensional being, but either way, it is an example of a Bigfoot relative that is from out of this world.
Skunk apes are almost exactly the same as Sasquatch, with a couple exceptions. First, they live in the bogs and swamps of Florida rather than forests and mountains. Second, they stink. The stench has been associated with methane-filled bogs, but some say it comes straight from the beasts themselves.
The Grassman is another name for Sasquatch, but more specific. Grassmen reside in only in Ohio and some neighboring states. They feed mostly on livestock, but also hunt in the Appalachians and eat plants from the forests.
Yeti, or Abominable Snowmen, reside in the Himalayas in Nepal and Tibet. Some say Yeti are the original variety of Bigfoot, and the others diffused and evolved from them. They are characterized by white or yellowish-white fur and a stockier build than Sasquatches. They are often confused with the Arctic variety of Sasquatch, which has a similar color but is found in the far north of North America.
Yeren are another mysterious ape-like creature rumored to inhabit rural southern China. They are even more closely related to the North American Sasquatch than their neighbors, the Yeti. They are known to be malevolent to humans and even to eat them, and there are legends that Chinese travelers in the mountains wore tubes on their arms so they can slide out of them and escape when the Yeren captures them. It is more likely that these “tubes” were intended to prevent frostbite.
The Mapinguari (aka Maricoxi) is another possible bigfoot relative living deep in South American rainforests. Some say it’s humanoid, while others describe a partially bipedal bear-like creature with sloth claws. Whether it is a Bigfoot relative or a remnant of an ancient species of megafauna thought to be extinct is heavily debated. The scientifically accepted explanation is that it might be a giant ground sloth, which was previously believed to be extinct.
Yowie, Squatch’s violent Aussie cousin, has been reported to exist in the bush well before Australia was discovered. The Aboriginals described ape-like beast found in the forests near the coast that had lived there for as long as they had. Yowies are thought to be considerably more violent toward humans than Squatches, although they have not been reported to have eaten anyone yet.
There are others, too. The Almas of Kazakhstan, the Orang Pendek of Sumatra, the Chuchunaa of Siberia, and the Ebu Gogo of Indonesia are all considered subspecies of Bigfoot, but are too elusive to find good evidence or pictures. Still, it can hardly be a coincidence that every part of the world has some sort of legend of a Bigfoot. In fact, that may be the single best evidence of their existence.